Now that I’ve had the evening to think about the explosive allegations in Ontario, here are my thoughts below. First I will talk about the party, but last but not least I want to talk about what this means for society in general as I believe that is more important than any political implications. How this will play out politically is anyone’s guess and now is not the time to be making any predictions.
1. Brown had no choice but to resign and I am glad the caucus told him in no uncertain terms to go. Had he tried to stay on, the PCs would have lost (they may still lose, but that’s another debate), it was only a question of whether Andrew Howarth or Wynne would win had Brown stayed on.
2. Caucus should chose a leader and due to how soon the election is, that leader should be permanent; no leadership convention. The next leader should also be a member of caucus so they can hold the government to account. My first choice is Lisa Macleod followed by Vic Fidelli. Both are reasonable and non-threatening so with both the party may have a chance to recover.
3. Resigning as leader is not enough, Patrick Brown needs to quit the PC caucus and sit as an independent and also due to the short timeframe, he should not be allowed to stand as candidate in the next election. He may be innocent but only if cleared should he be allowed to run and due to the short timetable that is not possible before the election. Keeping him as an MPP will not only have the party dragged down by this, it also is morally wrong. Federally the Liberals, have suspended MPs accused of sexual misconduct and I believe that this is a standard all parties should take. If the allegations turn out false, then a member accused can rejoin but only after that.
4. Patrick Brown will not be the last to have their political career destroyed over this, there are many more to come and it will impact all parties.
5. The policy platform is a party one, not about the leader so the party should largely keep the platform in tact with a few minor adjustments although changing the name and cover is probably a good idea.
6. The campaign managers who resigned should be allowed to return so long as they sign an affidavit claiming they had no knowledge of this. If they had prior knowledge then they need to leave.
7. I believe the women are likely telling the truth. There is no evidence this was politically motivated and the two are totally separate, making it very credible. For those suggesting it was politically motivated, consider a few facts; wouldn’t it be dropped during the campaign to do maximum damage, why would anyone want to come forward if not true knowing the amount of harassment they will get from people who are PC supporters or those upset the Liberals might win. If these were to be proven false, it would damage them greatly for life so I have little reason to believe they are lying. Maybe he did nothing illegal since if he stopped once they said no, then he is not criminally guilty, but what he is accused of is still totally inappropriate and unacceptable for someone who wants to become premier. Leaders of any jurisdiction needs to be a role model and set an example so they have a much higher standard than the average person, as they should.
8. For all women out there who have been victims of sexual misconduct, please come forward. I know it will be very tough, but the only way we are going to stop this from happening so often is if more come forward otherwise incidents like these and others in the news will continue.
9. For all men out there, quit treating women as sexual objects. They are human beings and deserve the at most respect; they are not there just to satisfy your sexual pleasures. If you are unsure if an advance will be unwanted or not, ask first and when a woman says No, no means no!
10. To all people, please be respectful to those who come forward and do not accuse them of having malicious intent unless there is strong reason to believe so. We need more to come forward and accusing them of malicious intent will just prevent this. I understand the innocent until proven guilty and I agree all accused deserve a fair trial and should only be convicted if proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, not going to prison unless convicted is a right, running for premier is not. Otherwise innocent until proven guilty simply means no punishment under the law, it does mean the right to serve in government.